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Linguistik Noam of Chomsky and Edward Sapir

The inherent language faculty, then, acts as an interface level of linguistic competence. Chomsky developed this theory to explain how children from different cultural backgrounds are able to speak their native language at basically the same age of development regardless of differences in intelligence and experience and despite a lack of training. This faculty draws the line between language and cognition. The difference is that the language faculty is language specific at the attained state but the cognitive functions that are encompasses in language knowledge are not, “The underlying structure is language specific (in the inventories of syntactic relations, morphological values and lexical units, and, possibly, also in some issues of categorization of the content), cognitive structuring itself (as studies by intensional logic, by situational semantics, or by formal semantic theories) does not depend on the patterns of individual languages” (Sgall 1). Those who are opposed to Chomsky’s argument believe that all we have to measure competence is the behavioral dispositions of the speakers.

However, while Chomsky felt our external evidence is behavioral the underlying processes that explain it are not necessarily so. To Chomsky, grammar had a dualistic nature one that encompassed both the theories devised by the linguist as well as the internal component of the speaker’s or hearer’s mind. Generative grammar is the system of rules and principles of language that have been acquired by the speaker. Universal grammar is theory that tries to understand the general properties of language that are learned in normal ways by humans. It is universal grammar that Chomsky viewed as one of the essential faculties inherent to the human mind, and he also believed that generative and universal grammar are the only two rough guides we have into understanding the relationship between language and thought:

At the present stage of...

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Linguistik Noam of Chomsky and Edward Sapir. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:58, August 20, 2017, from
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